Dori: Should you add a kangaroo to your Christmas wish list?

Dec 2, 2022, 5:31 PM | Updated: 6:56 pm


(Photo by Carola Frentzen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

(Photo by Carola Frentzen/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Shoppers struggling with the hard-to-buy-for person on their Christmas gift list may have asked themselves this very question: what about a kangaroo?

Before adding it to his own holiday gift wish list, KIRO Newsradio mid-day host Dori Monson needed to do a bit of research – in part to save his marriage. It’s why he reached out to Ray Strom, owner of Arlington Outback Kangaroo Farm in north Snohomish County, during Friday’s show.

Strom – who has been raising both ‘roos and wallabies for 25 years on his preserve – had some words of marsupial-owning wisdom for Dori.

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“They’re not for everybody,” Strom told Dori’s listeners. “It’s a very select few that can have them.”

Infant kangaroos – called “joeys” – need “a bottle every four hours for the first couple of months” – including nighttime feedings, the exotic wildlife manager explained. “That way, they bond with you.”

Until they’re a year old, Strom detailed, they need to be in the house – because “they’re not furred up enough to be out in the elements.”

“So could I wear a pouch?” while raising them inside during their infant months, Dori wondered.

Some joey owners do arrange a pouch made of fabric that can be hung and carried around the house until the ‘roo is ready for the outdoors, Strom said. Meanwhile, he added, the large-footed, strong hind-legged mammals can explore outside the pouch inside a house – even though they are not house-trained.

“Oooh,” Dori responded. “That could be a problem for my wife.”

Next challenge: Would Dori’s 7-year-old neutered dog, Buddy, get along with a new ‘roo?

“I’ve heard they can lean back on their tail and unleash deadly kicks,” Dori said.

“Male kangaroos will wrestle with each other over breeding dominance,” Strom explained.

That left Dori assured: “I’ve already had a vasectomy, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”

Even so, Strom said, he hadn’t heard of a kangaroo attack on a human in a long time.

Undeterred, Dori asked about a good “starter package” for his suburban lifestyle.

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Since male kangaroos grow to nearly 180 pounds, Strom tried discouraging him from that selection. At closer to 45 pounds, Strom advised, “Wallabies are a little more practical because they’re smaller.”

Despite the appeal of owning a kangaroo, Dori told Strom, adding this to his Christmas wish list was going to be a “tough challenge. I’m going to have to sell this to my wife.”

Strom said bringing a marsupial into a family is an important investment at any time of year. Before making an impulsive holiday decision, the Arlington man recommended Dori pay a seasonal March-October visit to his farm, where his family raises a variety of exotic animals – from wallabies and kangaroos to lemurs, peacocks, and miniature goats.

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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